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Space Travel use to be top priority?

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#26 bobhen

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 10:06 AM

Let private enterprise handle it. Cheaper. Better. Faster. More profitable.

Keep the governments in the slow lane where they belong, or performing the services they are meant to. i.e. Defense. As soon as anyone goes anywhere, the pirates are sure to follow.

Private enterprise does handle it – through government-backed contracts. Private enterprise by itself would never raise the money or spend the money or go into deep debt funding a flight to Mars or setting up a moon base. Those projects are extremely costly with years/decades in development with no clear or immediate path to return on investment or even the possibility of a return at all.

 

Private enterprise also builds submarines but only through government-backed contracts, precisely because there is no return on investment in building a submarine without government backing.

 

The company doesn’t sell the sub on the open market after it’s built. You pay for that sub with tax dollars and you will do the same for these big space programs – no matter which company does the actual building.

 

Only after there is a reasonable path to profitability in a space sector (tourism, low earth payloads, mining, etc.) will some companies take the “risk” at becoming self-sustaining.

 

The US government, along with private companies funded by taxpayer dollars, put a man on the moon in 8 years – that’s not the slow lane.

 

Bob


Edited by bobhen, 10 May 2019 - 05:07 AM.

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#27 EJN

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 07:52 PM

Privet enterprise...

 

So shrubs and small trees are going to do it? I never knew plants were so talented. :yay:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privet



#28 llanitedave

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 08:25 PM

So shrubs and small trees are going to do it? I never knew plants were so talented. yay.gif

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privet

Plants will take over the universe...  via sucker sprouts!



#29 Mister T

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 05:43 AM

Plants will take over the universe...  via sucker sprouts!

round up resistant weeds...


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#30 BillP

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 09:17 PM

We either embrace progress in all areas, and work to get better as we go, or we give up and accept our inevitable extinction with a smile.  Which of your offspring do you wish the extinction on?

 

I think you have a vision of humanity's head that is much bigger than what it actually is.  Extinction will eventually come to all of them.  The human race is clearly NOT embracing progress in all areas.  Instead it is wanting to venture off into space before it can even figure out how to get along and cooperate where we are now.  As long as violence and wars and unbalanced distribution of wealth and resources exist here, we will carry that thinking to wherever we might go next, and it will just be the same old same old.  It's the old saying that just because you could does not mean you should.  If you want to venture off-world to expand the human race, then do it wisely and prioritize advancing sociology and psychology of the human being so that is can live cooperatively and productively for each and every one of its constituents. We need to advance our morals and ethics and the sociological aspects of who we are to earn the privileged of setting up shop off world.   Instead we continue down the route of as stupid is stupid does.  Technological advancement alone does nothing more than to put guns in the hands of children.  Being smart technologically is not being smart sociologically. We need to advance our behaviors to the point that we are worthy to establish ourselves off-world.  Only then will there be any hope of those off-world endeavors not falling into the same cesspool of destructive and narcissistic behavior that humanity currently embraces.

 

So I'm all for going off-world in a permanent way.  But not by putting the cart before the horse and doing it before we are mature enough to do it.  Being able to do it does not mean being mature enough to do it.  There are more than 40 active armed conflicts going on around the world right now.  In 2017 there were about 400,000 homicides world-wide.  That's homicides not accidental or natural causes deaths.  I think all this clearly points out that we need to advance ourselves to catch up with the technology.  If we do not then one would be a proponent of spreading they ways of violence, murder, war, and the like out into the cosmos.  I am not for that!  How long must we continue to be so stupid following nothing but technology in our thinking?  No.  We are not near ready to move off-world, any more than two 12 year olds are ready to start a family.


Edited by BillP, 20 May 2019 - 09:21 PM.


#31 bobhen

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 08:09 AM

I think you have a vision of humanity's head that is much bigger than what it actually is.  Extinction will eventually come to all of them.  The human race is clearly NOT embracing progress in all areas.  Instead it is wanting to venture off into space before it can even figure out how to get along and cooperate where we are now.  As long as violence and wars and unbalanced distribution of wealth and resources exist here, we will carry that thinking to wherever we might go next, and it will just be the same old same old.  It's the old saying that just because you could does not mean you should.  If you want to venture off-world to expand the human race, then do it wisely and prioritize advancing sociology and psychology of the human being so that is can live cooperatively and productively for each and every one of its constituents. We need to advance our morals and ethics and the sociological aspects of who we are to earn the privileged of setting up shop off world.   Instead we continue down the route of as stupid is stupid does.  Technological advancement alone does nothing more than to put guns in the hands of children.  Being smart technologically is not being smart sociologically. We need to advance our behaviors to the point that we are worthy to establish ourselves off-world.  Only then will there be any hope of those off-world endeavors not falling into the same cesspool of destructive and narcissistic behavior that humanity currently embraces.

 

So I'm all for going off-world in a permanent way.  But not by putting the cart before the horse and doing it before we are mature enough to do it.  Being able to do it does not mean being mature enough to do it.  There are more than 40 active armed conflicts going on around the world right now.  In 2017 there were about 400,000 homicides world-wide.  That's homicides not accidental or natural causes deaths.  I think all this clearly points out that we need to advance ourselves to catch up with the technology.  If we do not then one would be a proponent of spreading they ways of violence, murder, war, and the like out into the cosmos.  I am not for that!  How long must we continue to be so stupid following nothing but technology in our thinking?  No.  We are not near ready to move off-world, any more than two 12 year olds are ready to start a family.

I think the problem with that line of thinking is that technology is outpacing evolutionary or social advancements – and by a lot.

 

For example: humans might find Earth-like planets and develop the technology to reach them long before we become unified or have a utopia on Earth. Should we then not go?

 

Should King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella have waited for poverty to be eliminated before they funded Columbus?

 

One could also make the argument that until we have a social utopia on Earth humans should stop, not just space exploration but also ALL technological advancements. But, as it turns out, it’s a lot easier to invent the light bulb than it is to light the way to a social utopia. Should Edison have waited until poverty was eliminated before he invented the light bulb or did his invention actually help put a dent in poverty and help reduce human hardship?

 

I would love for humanity to walk and chew gum at the same time and see a unified/utopian Earth and also an off-world human society. I just think the second has a greater chance to happen before the first. And given the choice of doing nothing until we have a utopia on Earth or moving out into space, even though we are imperfect, I would choose the latter.

 

Who knows, where diplomatic or political or altruistic solutions have failed at unification, just the massive undertaking of going to another Earth-like planet might be enough to stimulate political and social discourse, encourage cooperation between countries and help to unify this planet.

 

Bob


Edited by bobhen, 21 May 2019 - 08:11 AM.

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#32 rockethead26

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 08:26 PM


Who knows, where diplomatic or political or altruistic solutions have failed at unification, just the massive undertaking of going to another Earth-like planet might be enough to stimulate political and social discourse, encourage cooperation between countries and help to unify this planet.

 

Bob

I'd put the odds of success of that somewhere around the same as Planck's constant.



#33 bobhen

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 07:15 AM

I'd put the odds of success of that somewhere around the same as Planck's constant.

Even right now, and without any pressing need other than cost sharing, we do have an “international” space station.

 

As they say… one small step…

 

Bob


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#34 bobzeq25

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 12:34 PM

I think space travel, and space science, as such, is more important now than it's ever been.

 

The 1950's to the 1990's (satellites, people in space, Moon landings, the Shuttle) were far more about geopolitics than science.  The science was an afterthought.  That can be seen most clearly in the Apollo program.  It ended sooner than planned because the geopolitical goals has been reached, and whether or not there was more science to be done was pretty irrelevant.  The astronauts were dominated by military personnel with limited scientific training, mostly in gathering data according to a cookbook they had been provided with, they had almost no background or training in analyzing it.

 

There is some echo of the past going on today.  Part ( really don't know how much) of our present efforts are a reaction to China's space program, the fact that we rely on (pretty ancient) Russian rockets to get to the space station, etc.

 

I agree with the above poster that the ISS is a shining bright spot.


Edited by bobzeq25, 23 May 2019 - 12:35 PM.

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#35 EJN

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 05:38 PM

The astronauts were dominated by military personnel with limited scientific training, mostly in gathering data according to a cookbook they had been provided with, they had almost no background or training in analyzing it.

 

All the astronauts who were in the rotation for a moon landing were given extensive training in field geology.

They all took it seriously, some even enjoyed it - Jim Lovell (who never got to land on the moon) and

Dave Scott (Apollo 15) in particular. Harrison Schmidt (Apollo 17) had a PhD in geology.

 

This is all chronicled in A Man on the Moon by Andrew Chaikin.


Edited by EJN, 23 May 2019 - 05:39 PM.


#36 BillP

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 07:26 PM

Here a few from Apollo 11+

 

Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11) - PhD in Astronautics
Neil Armstrong (Apollo 11) - BS Aeronautical Engineering
Michael Collins (Apollo 11) - BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point
Pete Conrad (Apollo 12) - BS Aeronautical Engineering
Richard Gordon (Apollo 12) - BS Chemistry
Allan Bean (Apollo 12) - BS Aeronautical Engineering
Alan Shepard (Apollo 14) - BS from the United States Naval Academy
Edgar Mitchell (Apollo 14) - BS Industrial Management, BS Aeronautical Engineering, PhD Aeronautics
Stuart Roosa (Apollo 14) - BS Aeronautical Engineering
Jim Irwin (Apollo 15) - BS Naval Engineering, MS Aeronautical and Instrumentation Engineering
Dave Scott (Apollo 15) - MS Aeronautics and Astronautics
Al Worden (Apollo 15) - BS Military Science, MS Astronautical and Aeronautical Engineering
Charlie Duke (Apollo 16) - BS Naval Sciences, MS Aeronautics
T.K. Mattingly (Apollo 16) - BS Aeronautical Engineering
John Young (Apollo 16) - BS Aeronautical Engineering
Gene Cernan (Apollo 10, 17) - BS Electrical Engineering, MS Aeronautical Engineering
Ron Evans (Apollo 17) - BS Electrical Engineering, MS Aeronautical Engineering
Harrison Schmitt (Apollo 17) - BS Geology, PhD Geology



#37 CounterWeight

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 12:22 AM

My only issue with insisting all humanity get along is that we have no record of that ever happening, and I've read as far back as my Latin, Greek, Egyptian, Cuneiform will allow.

 

The pax romana was only a pax romana for some not all of the romans and god forbid you where in the way and not Roman.  Seems to have a parallel in any century you want with any society you choose.  The question even valid today. Peace and understanding according to who?

 

So why tie it to that?  Seems a setup for failure or not even trying.  Not that I am against the noble notion.

 

Optimistically there are those willing to try and some are making great inroads in spite of all the social issues and failings.  I think unfair to demote their efforts.  Maybe we are not getting everything right but there are folks getting some very important things right in spite of that.

 

I remember a Navy chief confiding in me that 'not everyone is born to "get it" '. But if I didn't give up he wouldn't either. Not all are motivated by or for or towards the same things , so why make that a requirement. 



#38 bobzeq25

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 09:07 AM

My only issue with insisting all humanity get along is that we have no record of that ever happening, and I've read as far back as my Latin, Greek, Egyptian, Cuneiform will allow.

 

The pax romana was only a pax romana for some not all of the romans and god forbid you where in the way and not Roman.  Seems to have a parallel in any century you want with any society you choose.  The question even valid today. Peace and understanding according to who?

 

So why tie it to that?  Seems a setup for failure or not even trying.  Not that I am against the noble notion.

 

Optimistically there are those willing to try and some are making great inroads in spite of all the social issues and failings.  I think unfair to demote their efforts.  Maybe we are not getting everything right but there are folks getting some very important things right in spite of that.

 

I remember a Navy chief confiding in me that 'not everyone is born to "get it" '. But if I didn't give up he wouldn't either. Not all are motivated by or for or towards the same things , so why make that a requirement. 

And the problem with _that_ is that the world faces any number of problems that absolutely require common solutions.

 

Yes, international cooperation is hard.  Right now nativist groups make it very hard.  Perhaps unfortunately it has become necessary.  Technological advances of all kinds have ensured that.

 

Perhaps the reason we have never verified other civilizations is that they get to this point, and destroy themselves or dissolve into chaos.  I see no alternative to hoping that we'll "get it right".  The ISS represents "one small step" toward that.  Even when we are in serious disputes with Russia, they still send our astronauts to the ISS, and we trust them to do that.

 

Minor point.  My church, Unitarian Universalist, is pretty much organized around the idea that _all_ people are worthy, that the goal is a civilization that recognizes that.

 

It's unlikely any of us will live to see the answer.  Perhaps that's fortunate.

 

This post may not last very long.  Elvis Costello wrote a song about that, 40 years ago.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=Ssd3U_zicAI


Edited by bobzeq25, 24 May 2019 - 09:21 AM.


#39 llanitedave

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 12:40 PM

And the problem with _that_ is that the world faces any number of problems that absolutely require common solutions.

 

Yes, international cooperation is hard.  Right now nativist groups make it very hard.  Perhaps unfortunately it has become necessary.  Technological advances of all kinds have ensured that.

 

Perhaps the reason we have never verified other civilizations is that they get to this point, and destroy themselves or dissolve into chaos.  I see no alternative to hoping that we'll "get it right".  The ISS represents "one small step" toward that.  Even when we are in serious disputes with Russia, they still send our astronauts to the ISS, and we trust them to do that.

 

Minor point.  My church, Unitarian Universalist, is pretty much organized around the idea that _all_ people are worthy, that the goal is a civilization that recognizes that.

 

It's unlikely any of us will live to see the answer.  Perhaps that's fortunate.

 

This post may not last very long.  Elvis Costello wrote a song about that, 40 years ago.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=Ssd3U_zicAI

This debate really goes back to the beginning of the space age, and similar debates long before that.  The biggest enemy of humanity is tribalism, in all the many social forms it takes.  A global economy, and international cooperation in exploration, the conviction that knowledge is a rising tide, and each of us is a boat in a common fleet to be lifted by it, is IMO our most likely salvation.



#40 BillP

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 09:58 AM

And the problem with _that_ is that the world faces any number of problems that absolutely require common solutions.

 

Yes, international cooperation is hard.  Right now nativist groups make it very hard.  Perhaps unfortunately it has become necessary.  Technological advances of all kinds have ensured that.

 

Perhaps the reason we have never verified other civilizations is that they get to this point, and destroy themselves or dissolve into chaos.  I see no alternative to hoping that we'll "get it right".  The ISS represents "one small step" toward that.  Even when we are in serious disputes with Russia, they still send our astronauts to the ISS, and we trust them to do that.

 

Minor point.  My church, Unitarian Universalist, is pretty much organized around the idea that _all_ people are worthy, that the goal is a civilization that recognizes that.

 

It's unlikely any of us will live to see the answer.  Perhaps that's fortunate.

 

Actually, there is some historical evolutionary thought that supports your logic.  If we take as a given that evolutionary change is in general a positive process, then for the human race to progress to a point where we can all be cooperative would require an evolutionary "pressure" to force the need.  When we look at how and why humans evolved in the first place, the current thinking is it was the evolutionary pressure of apes being forced from a heavily forested environment to a grassland and desert environment.  This made bipedalism preferred, necessitated more fine motor skills, etc., etc., all requiring a larger brain.  So the upshot may be that if any more advanced civilization interfered with a less advanced one going through the throws of global evolutionary pressures, that they would then doom that species to not being able to advance evolutionary!  So in a sense, if our current view of our history is correct, facing global-level challenges and/or forcing ourselves into radically different environments (like colonization and permanent living off-Earth), would force evolutionary adaptations to improve us to deal with those things.  The problem with the off-Earth evolutionary pressures is that the evolution will happen to those off-Earth leaving those of us remaining on Earth as distant apes on the plains comparatively.  That being the case, best IMO for us to focus on our global problems rather than being swayed by other fancies like space colonization so all of us can become better over evolutionary time.  But if those wanting colonization gain control and succeed in that agenda, then for the sake of the human race as a whole we'd have to ensure in that process the continual interbreeding between the colonists and home world folks to try to ensure that the entirety of the human race benefits and not just the off-world component.

 

Around 10 million years ago, the Earth's climate entered a cooler and drier phase, which led eventually to the Quaternary glaciation beginning some 2.6 million years ago. One consequence of this was that the north African tropical forest began to retreat, being replaced first by open grasslands and eventually by desert (the modern Sahara). As their environment changed from continuous forest to patches of forest separated by expanses of grassland, some primates adapted to a partly or fully ground-dwelling life. Here they were exposed to predators, such as the big cats, from whom they had previously been safe. These environmental pressures caused selection to favor bipedalism: walking on hind legs. This gave the Homininae's eyes greater elevation, the ability to see approaching danger further off, and a more efficient means of locomotion.[citation needed] It also freed the arms from the task of walking and made the hands available for tasks such as gathering food. At some point the bipedal primates developed handedness, giving them the ability to pick up sticks, bones and stones and use them as weapons, or as tools for tasks such as killing smaller animals, cracking nuts, or cutting up carcasses. In other words, these primates developed the use of primitive technology.

https://en.wikipedia...an_intelligence


Edited by BillP, 28 May 2019 - 10:03 AM.


#41 llanitedave

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 05:15 PM

Considering the current and advancing state of biotechnology, I strongly suspect that in the near future we will not have to rely on interbreeding, random mutations, or natural selection to guide our evolution.  We will be able to manipulate it as we see fit, as we have already done with so many other natural processes.

 

Whether this is a good thing or not is left as an exercise for the reader.




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